You didn't miss much, but you were missed.
There was a guy who pitched for the 2001 M's, Paul Abbott, a sort-of novelty to the league with a great change, a pretty good game, and a great team behind him. He went 17-4, 4.25. I always thought of Abby as the iconic player for that team, a #4 SP good enough to roll over the meatballs at will, but who could get shelled by the good teams. Right? There's Mike Leake in a nutshell.
And there we were again today: Leake sitting on a 50-31 team at the halfway point, and shutting down one of the worst teams in modern memory. But put him against Boston and see what happens...
Oh wait. I did see a box on that. It was like 8 ip, 3h, 0 r, 0 er, 2 bb, 5 K, huh. Better calibrate the 'Frame there Dr. D.
Leake's last 8 games, BEFORE locking down the O's in an Ultra Quality Start, he was #4 in the American League for WHIP and for IP - about 0.95 and 50, if I remember. The M's are 7-1 in his last 8 appearances, which in terms of your #4 SP is "entirely acceptable." They're 13-4 in his games for the season.
In technical terms, when he's hot this guy throws with unreal command and with unreal downbite on all of his pitches. He's like Hisashi Iwakuma throwing a stoneball or something...
You watch a streak like this and you get to understanding. How baseball's best franchise, St. Louis, could pay 5x$18M for this pitcher.
Bill James recently tweeted that KYLE SEAGER is THE player in the major leagues most hurt by his home park. The #1 guy. Huh. This year it's road .253/.338/.591, home .250/.301/.517. Last year it's much closer.
... of course it's not as simple as splits; I could see the argument. If that is true, should the M's put a really good argument together and TRADE Seager? Get back a decent 3B and some farm talent?
Or on the other hand, play Healy at 3B and get a thunderstick for 1B .... just a thought ...
They're following through on Gamel jobsharing with Denard Span. Heredia is takin' all the time in CF. So does that mean that Ben Gamel is as good as Denard Span?!
We all know he's using BABIP and hair conditioner as his main weapons, and that it's fun like Olympus to watch him play. Is Gamel's BABIP ever going to come down before he learns to hit? The M's don't think so.
For the first half of the post, see my second blog, Detect-O-Vision.
I doubt the M's could trade him and get back the 'expected' value difference. Maybe we acquire someone who can't hack it in Safeco and wish we'd just stuck with what worked. If you can find a buyer willing to pay a premium for the 'get him out of Safeco' effect, then of course you consider it... but I'm guessing it's more likely we can't monetize that particular inefficiency.